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30 August 2019, 09:23 | Updated: 30 August 2019, 11:37
Paul Potts is one of the most successful singers to come out of Britain's Got Talent. Here's everything you need to know about his rags-to-riches story...
On Saturday 31 August, Paul Potts will return to Britain’s Got Talent in the first ever Champions series. The 48-year-old tenor became the first BGT winner 13 years ago, beating then six-year-old Connie Talbot to the £100,000 prize.
And now, he returns to the talent show to perform in front of Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams – but reports have said Potts gets visibly anxious before the judges.
Cowell admits the tenor stars “shaky”, saying: “I’m not sure how this is going to go.”
Potts will be competing against: BGT heroes Ashleigh Butler and her dog Sully, Talbot and Boogie Storm, Bad Salsa (India’s Got Talent), The Nelson Twins (Australia’s Got Talent), The Sacred Riana (Asia’s Got Talent), Bello and Annaliese Nock (America’s Got Talent) and Kseniya Simonova (Ukraine’s Got Talent).
Only two acts will make it through to the final each week. Starting at 8pm every Saturday, the series will run for six weeks, with the show likely to end on 5 October 2019.
Born in Kingswood, Bristol, Paul Potts originally made waves after auditioning in Cardiff for the first series of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent back in 2007.
His passion for music and moving performance of ‘Nessun dorma’ – from Puccini’s opera Turandot – received a standing ovation and he later won the show.
Since winning Britain’s Got Talent, Paul’s story has become one of rags to riches as he transitioned from the brink of bankruptcy to the life of a multi-millionaire.
His love of singing began at an early age and he joined several choirs in his younger years – including Christ Church in Bristol.
After leaving school in 1990, Potts worked in jobs at Waitrose, Tesco and Bristol City Council – a far cry from the stages he frequents today.
Now, the singer is worth an estimated $10 million and he shares his wealth with wife Julie-Ann, who he met online and married in 2003.
With Potts’ quick rise to fame, it wasn’t long before the classical crossover singer released his first studio album, One Chance, which went on to top sales charts in 13 countries.
The album was highly-anticipated following his rendition of Andrea Bocelli’s ‘Time To Say Goodbye’ in the semi-final of BGT.
After selling more than 150,000 copies of ‘Nessun dorma’, Pott’s single was certified Gold in the UK.
Speaking to Female First about the track, the singer said: “It is the ultimate song about determination and victory and is one I have performed thousands of times and will never tire of.”
His subsequent albums include Passione (2009), Cinema Paradiso (2010) and Winter Dreams (2018).
Paul has even sung for the Queen at a Royal Variety Performance at which he sung ‘Nella fantasia’ – an Italian song based on the theme ‘Gabriel’s Oboe’ from the ‘80s film The Mission.
As Potts’ popularity continued to grow, writer Justin Zackham and The Devil Wears Prada film director David Frankel were keen to collaborate on a movie about his life.
Starring actor and presenter James Corden, the biographical comedy-drama stays true to the tenor’s story and touches on the bullying he suffered before making it big.
Paul also released a memoir, One Chance, which was published by Weinstein Books in 2013 and described by Publishers Weekly as “a fascinating tale of the shy Welsh store manager who seized his dreams and won over audiences worldwide.”
Listen to Paul Potts on Spotify: